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A World of a Difference

A World of a Difference

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I am sitting on an airplane, with my two best friends, trying to write down on paper all the thoughts in my head and all the emotions in my heart. We are on our way back from Detroit, where we spent three amazing days with other volunteers from all over the USA and Canada. This unforgettable experience will stay with me for a long time to come. What I learned, witnessed and experienced has changed my perception of myself and of the world forever.

You see, I have been volunteering for Friendship Circle for a while now. Yes, it’s inspiring; yes, it’s fun; yes, I have made a relationship with my best buddy, Hannah P. But I always considered it as a little thing that a little girl in a little town does. It fills my weeks with meaning and my after-school hours with an altruistic project. It teaches me lessons and affords me friendships.

Spending this weekend with seventy other volunteers, hearing from inspirational speakers, and being immersed in a surreal atmosphere made me realize something else. This is BIG. Bigger than big. I am part of a revolution!

Our parents grew up in a world where children who looked different were locked up for life. A world where a child with disabilities was a burden on everyone. A world where siblings were ashamed of talking about their poor little brother. My peers and I are changing this reality. Our generation of teenagers is ushering in a new era where special children are indeed special. Eighty Friendship Circles around the world are transforming eighty communities. 11,000 volunteers around the globe are becoming ambassadors of change for these precious souls. From Paris to Pittsburgh, from Ashkelon to Atlanta, from Sydney to San Francisco, little girls and boys like me are making a world of a difference.

And now, so can you. Yes, this week every one of you can take a little action that will make a world of a difference for thousands of children with special needs. Chase Bank is granting one million dollars to a charity at the end of this week. The charity with the most votes on Facebook will be given a million dollars to further their cause. You have the power to bring a million smiles to thousands of children by making Friendship Circle of Michigan the winning charity.

So, I will go back to share exciting memories with my best buddies here, and you go ahead to and make your voice heard.

Thank you

Related Articles: Organization Changes World Through Special Friendships, Sole Jewish Finalist in Online Contest, Special Needs Organization Competing for $1 Million Grant

Jenna C. – Friendship Circle, California
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Kelly West Bloomfield, MI January 20, 2010

Beautiful words Putting your thoughts and feelings on paper (blogs) is brave and generous. You are spreading happiness and you have made a tremendous difference in the world. That's apparent.

Mazel Tov! Reply

Friendship Circle is today's fastest growing Jewish organization for children with special needs. With over 76 locations worldwide Friendship Circle has cultivated friendships between 5,000 special children and close to 11,000 teen volunteers.

The unique vision of the Rebbe that "none of us are complete unless all of us are included" provides our motivation to bridge the gap between families of children with special needs and the general community while providing today’s teens with a productive and enjoyable focus.

Window To Our World, presented by Friendship Circle International, will share with you the inside perspective of special children, their families, volunteers, community members and Friendship Circle coordinators who bring them together.

For more information, please visit the Friendship Circle website.

Click here for an insightful video about special needs children.

Moderated by Rochel Groner, Friendship Circle International
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